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Linux vs. Windows

By Shamus
on Tuesday Jan 8, 2013
Filed under:



This weekend I installed both Windows and Linux in some kind of dual-boot situation. So now I’ve had a chance to use the two systems side-by-side so I can make a proper apples-to-Macintosh type comparison. I’ve installed both and I’ve used both, and I’m ready to offer Linux some constructive criticism. It’s a good attempt at an operating system, but they need to make some changes if they want to beat Windows.

Linux Doesn’t Reboot Enough


I’m not sure how they managed to mess up something as simple as rebooting. I mean, it’s just restarting the computer. It’s like a blue screen of death that skips the blue screen.

When I installed Windows the process worked properly: The installer looked at my computer for a long time, then copied some files and rebooted. Then it had another long ponder before rebooting again. Then it booted into Windows, announced there were critical updates, and asked to boot again. Then once I installed my graphics drivers it wanted another boot. I guess my only complaint is that it stopped to ask about that fourth reboot. That was kind of odd. I mean, why would I say no?

On the other hand, the Linux installer feels like it’s missing parts or something. I ran the installer and it rebooted just once, right into Linux. After that I installed some updates, but the machine still didn’t ask to reboot itself. It just sat there like it was ready for me to start using it. I waited ten minutes just to be sure, but it never did ask to restart.

Eventually I had to bring in the laptop and reboot that, just so I could feel like the job was done properly.

Linux Doesn’t Remind Me About Things


Look, I can’t be expected to keep track of all the complicated stuff the computer needs me to do. That’s what notification popups are for. I’ll be sitting there, writing a document or surfing the web, oblivious to the sea of problems going on behind the scenes. Then a little popup appears to save me from my unbridled productivity and let me know that there’s an update wizard waiting to be run, or that I need to set up the update wizard so that it can remind me to run it later. Or perhaps I need to download and install the update wizard so that it can remind me to set it up to remind me to run it. That’s a lot of stuff to keep track of, and without notifications I’d never be able to keep up.

Linux doesn’t do any of this for you. Oh sure, there’s a little shield on the Panel (that’s what Linux people call the taskbar) that shows a green checkmark if everything is okay and something else if it isn’t, but you have to remember to look down there yourself. Plus, that shield thing is only good for critical stuff like software upgrades. It doesn’t ever help you out with advice on desktop icon placement, or how you manage your toolbar, and I guess I’m supposed to keep track of virus scanners by myself and remember to do my own backups? How can anyone work like this?

Linux Doesn’t Boot or Shutdown Properly

Everyone knows that properly booting a computer takes several minutes, and shutting one down takes a couple more. We don’t know why, and we don’t know what sort of mysterious things are happening when that red disk access light is flickering. All we do know is that these things are terribly important. Everyone knows this.

Everyone except the people running Linux apparently, because they decided to cut some corners when it comes to starting up and shutting down. I’d say they got rid of half the stuff the computer does at startup. And shutdown? They just skip the whole thing. You tell the machine to shut down and it just does it right then and there, without sitting at a logo screen for a couple of minutes. It’s like they thought we wouldn’t notice little details like this.

Linux Software is Like, Weird and Stuff

I hope you’re not going to try to get anything done on Linux, because it doesn’t have any software. You want Internet Explorer? Nope. Notepad? Nope. Minesweeper? Missing. New Hardware Detection Setup and Driver Install Wizard? MIA.

Oh sure, Linux users will tell you about “alternatives”. Instead of Internet Explorer they have goofy off-brand programs like Firefox and Chrome. And their Notepad knockoff is strange because it has all these strange things like formatting, fonts, and spellchecking.

There’s this huge library of software out there that you can download through their own proprietary downloader. They don’t even charge you money for it, which means it’s all pirated.

Linux Doesn’t Have the Genuine Advantage


For years I’ve been typing these huge codes into Windows when I install it. Yes, they’re long and hard to type and it’s kind of annoying, but that’s the cost of getting a Genuine Advantage. Linux doesn’t have anything like this. They couldn’t even be bothered to add in a little one. Clearly Linux has no advantage at all.

So that’s Linux. Frankly with software this bad I can’t imagine how Linux manages to stay in business.

Thanks so much to all of the helpful, friendly feedback on this post. If you’d like to comment on this post, please go here and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Comments (255)

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  1. Rahul says:

    I think the author doesn’t know much about Linux or he is just promoting windows.

  2. Rahul says:

    Maybe the author is employer of microsoft or he is using Linux first time.

  3. aaa says:

    Uh… Chrome is the most popular browser on the planet smart guy. You are severely ignorant.

  4. George Sarakinis says:

    I feel like this article is a very biased opinion piece. It did not help at all with my decision about moving to a linux OS and instead gave me more of an opinion on the person writing the article.

  5. Arien says:

    I like the setup and “sense” behind Linux, however they still have 2 major problems.

    1) Software support for most games and complex programs doesn’t exist as they are all built for Windows.

    2) Hardware support is lacking for the same reasons in #1 because they are all built for Windows.

    If Linux ever gets enough support or gets the ability to run “Windows Programs” then I’m game, however if I can’t run my games or Photo / Video editing programs then it’s of no more use to me than my other tech devices I already have.

    • Alan says:

      Linux lags. But you might be able to work with it today. You can get an increasing number of games for Linux, especially look at the Humble Indie Bundles and Steam. Depending on your needs, there are frequently open alternatives for Windows applications. For example, OpenOffice and the GIMP aren’t quite full replacements for Microsoft Office and Photoshop, but for maybe 80% of people, they’re good enough. And finally, check out Wine, which exists to let Linux run Windows applications. Support is erratic, but you can run a number of top tier games and some applications, including Photoshop (a version or two old).

      It won’t work for everyone, but it can work for a heck of a lot of people. Now if only it would reboot more often, I’d be set. :-)

    • LeBeau says:

      I must respectfully disagree about hardware support at the moment. Windows 8 only seems to support the newest and best hardware, which is also well supported Linux. Windows 8 lacks support for what I’m sure they call ‘legacy’ hardware, but which many of my clients call ‘stuff I own’. The Windows 8 upgrade cycle has been a huge boon for me, because as people have to replace stuff, they give it to me. It all works on my Linux setups.

  6. Michael says:



  7. Raybo says:

    Another thing wrong with Linux is adding hardware. When I add a Microsoft wireless USB mouse on Windows, a prompt comes us saying new hardware is detected and then it takes a minute or so to install software and for a thing called a EULA to pop up, and that’s quite a read, I must say. Once I agree to that, I get instructions before I can use the mouse.

    With Linux I plug the mouse in and nothing happens! Now tell me, how am I supposed to know that I can just start using the mouse?

    • Jason says:

      Usually when the cursor moves after you move the mouse after 5 seconds it’s working. Elementary my friend.

  8. Meemaw says:

    I love this post!!!

    I’ve always wondered why Windows has to tell you it’s working all the time (whether you want to know or not!) and Linux just works when you need it to, so you can get your work done without any extra messages.

    I’ve used PCLinuxOS on my home computers since 2006. I have a hard drive with Windows XP on it, but I’m not sure where it is….

  9. Badre says:

    I strongly recommend you to try a distro like Ubuntu. It’s designed for commercial use unlike Linux Mint & supported by Canonical. Linux Mint has a far smaller community of developers & maintainers though Linux Mint is a derivative of Ubuntu. Give a try to latest of Ubuntu or Kubuntu (if you don’t like it’s Unity). Sometimes, distros make a considerable difference though all the basic concepts are same. Ubuntu & it’s flavors like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu & Lubuntu are the best commercial Linux desktop distros ever known, while almost every other freely available distro is for people with some technical ability. Don’t think every Linux distro is ‘equal’, there are much difference among them when considering about especially the UI & user interaction part. Also, you seem to love to spend money on some people just needs to get their thing sold. Linux is NOT about making money or that proprietary thing, it’s all open. Normal end users who have no idea about how actually a computer runs step by step may make such arguments because it requires user to know some common technical stuff. But, if you really enjoy paying for Windows & it’s proprietary code, lot of maintenance & everything, you may go for Windows. But, Linux is a set-it-and-forget-it type of system. Once you set up, until you do the update affecting the settings-changed program, you won’t even remember you changed, or until something happens that you need to update the configuration.
    Also, may I know how you say Linux doesn’t boot or shutdown properly, because Linux doesn’t take long like Windows? See by yourself if system works properly after a successful start-up. You don’t know how to compare two different systems technically man. You just seems to be a normal end user on Windows who can’t withstand it when the UI changes a little. Remember TWO SYSTEMS WOULD NEVER BE SIMILAR.

  10. Jason says:

    Wow is this guy for real!? This is probably one of the most retarded reviews of anything technical I have ever read. The issues this guy has is an absolute joke. I do use Windows, Linux, OSX and even Android regularly. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. This guy managed to miss on all of them. My sugestion would be to find something a bit simpler to review like music or tv shows where abnormal opinions are the norm.

  11. JSBailey says:

    First part of the article; Linux doesn’t bother you with reboots because it doesn’t always need it. Same with anti-virus software. Linux doesn’t need it.

    Second part, Linux doesn’t shut down properly? …….what? I don’t get it. I have used at least four different distros and they all shut down properly, with no hassles. I don’t get that at all.

    Linux may have some odd software, sure. But a lot of it works jsut as well, if not better than Windows. Is this guy complaining that linux has a notepad with spell check? I hope he’s kidding, because that is what makes Linux neat. Extra features that Windows doesn’t have, and mainly all software for Linux is free.

    Products keys, one of the things I HATED about Windows. I am so glad Linux doesn’t have this. So a product key is genuine? That makes Apple not genuine.

  12. Steve says:

    OMG! This is hilarious! Unlike these other dumbf**ks, I at least know you’re joking

  13. Anand says:

    Well written. I found this to be amusing enough, but these comments are where the true entertainment lies.

  14. preston says:

    I haven’t used Linux but i agree to the person who posted the review because its fun to watch the OS boot and shutdown. I’m only a 12 year old and i know allot about programming .ISO (Windows) and .dmg (Mac and Linux). But that is just my opinion as someone who has been doing tech. for most of my life (Since 1 year old) So its a different prospective! I don’t like any OS’s that has problems. Also programming a OS correctly is best! If you don’t program a OS correctly it could destroy your data. On windows, it was programmed correctly.

  15. Aric says:


  16. Ramoncin says:

    My Ubuntu installation asked me to reboot more than 3 times past month.

  17. Acer Bic says:

    …. ahhh, yes, but the Brother Laser Printer connected to & shared from my Ubuntu (12) LTS server works flawlessly from our Windows PCs. Unfortunately it will not work from a Linux (Mint) client.

    There are many things Windows does just so much better.

  18. Travauxa says:

    I have used Linux for about 3 years now,so these comments really do not do the system justice really,it is like some one else posted he is either promoting Windows (which in my own opinion is an inferior operating system) or he is new to the Linux system.

  19. K. Roland says:

    Do ya’ll know what sarcasm is?

  20. Slackware says:

    Please, tell me you are joking …

  21. Richard says:

    When I started reading this, I thought, damn this guy is an absolute moron! But saw the sarcasm when I saw the images and read a bit into it.
    Nice one! :D

  22. iph says:

    did you know that your efin site is running on linux?

  23. Regebox says:

    Best article and comments about Linux Vs Windows ever. Glad I gave up on windobe years ago… but I miss my beloved BSOD’s and multiple reboots!

  24. Anarimus says:

    I’m just gonna sit back and watch Poe’s Law take effect.

  25. Hans says:

    NASA must be really stupid then when the recently announced that they would dump Windows completely on the ISS.

    ISS dumps Windows inot the vacuum of space

    Or would it really be about stability and security?

  26. Me-Mao says:

    I rebooted Windows this morning around 8 AM. At around 9:30 AM and after a plethora of awesome Windows updates, I could finally check my email. Thank you Microsoft for getting me out of 1.5 hours of work!

  27. linuxuseriwh says:

    linux doesn’t need to reboot,it doesn’t need to notify, why because not everything is the same.u can make a eggless cake as u can make one with.you still get a cake.I am a loyal linux user n will not go back to windows or apple for one reason I like to have control of my system

  28. Philip H says:

    There is a reason why the Mars Rover runs on Linux. Enough said.

  29. Pravin Bashyal says:

    lolzzz… this guy uses internet explorer… what a looser… who uses internet explorer…

  30. Pravin Bashyal says:

    this article sucks…and btw all the so called advantages mentioned here are backfiring right back at windows… boots up slow??? has to be genuine, meaning is not free and have to authenticate… have to use internet explorer… continuously keeps bugging u with unnecessary notifications… too many virus threats… opensource softwares are pirated??? lolzzz… there’s no need to steal things that are already free… linux doesnt want to beat windows… it already has… it already has… 90% of mainframe computer uses linux… andriod has linux kernel… apple OS uses opensource platforms to develop apps…


  31. Pravin Bashyal says:

    as i read deeply all the article deeply… i feel stupid…

  32. Osei Fortune says:

    Why hate on linux so much :/ anyhow the only reason i may still have windows on any of my pcs is because gaming on windows somehow is a bit better for now but with regards to getting a secure and stable os i’ll stick to linux.

  33. Suilebes says:

    Then learn how to program, and make yourself a notification displayer.
    GNU/Linux is for people who understands software freedom, not for ignorant microsoft and apple prisoners.

  34. freakRush1729 says:

    who the fuck are you to criticize linux?

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